Researchers from the Roslin Institute have made a discovery that could help shed light on neurological diseases.
The scientists have identified genes known as retrotransposons, which are responsible for thousands of tiny changes in the DNA of brain tissue.
By mapping their location in the human genome, they identified mutations that could cause diseases to develop.
Dr Geoff Faulkner, of the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, said: “This research completely overturns the belief that the genetic make-up of brain cells remains static throughout life.
“If we can understand better how these subtle genetic changes occur, we could shed light on how brain cells regenerate, and possibly link the activity of these genes to brain diseases.”